MIDDLETOWN –  From nature walks to Thompson Park Day, the Monmouth County Park System is the place for fall family fun this October.  Here’s what is planned:

Mill Demonstration

Saturdays & Sundays, September 30 & October 1, 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22 and 28 & 29 from 1-4 p.m.
Historic Walnford, Upper Freehold

See the 19th century gristmill in action. FREE!       

Open Ceramics

Sunday, October 1 from 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Thompson Park Creative Arts Center, Lincroft

Choose from a large selection of bisque fired pottery pieces to glaze and make your own. Children age 12 and under are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per hour plus price of bisque ware; cash or check only. Pieces will be fired in about a week.

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Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean in residency at Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park
Jackson Pines and Cranston Dean at Langosta

Men’s Open Gym Basketball

Sundays, October 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 from  8-10 a.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls

Shoot some hoops in the Rec Center’s full court gym. The cost is $5 per person per session; cash or check only.


Seabrook-Wilson House Tours

Sundays, October 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 from 1-4 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park, Port Monmouth

Visit this house, which dates back to the early 1700s, and see displays on the ecology of the bay and local history. FREE!         

The Casual Birder

Thursday, October 5 at 9 a.m.
Hartshorne Woods Park, Rocky Point section in Highlands

Join a Park System Naturalist for this laid-back morning bird walk. We’ll meander for about an hour and see what birds we can find. No need to be an expert at identifying birds to enjoy this walk. A limited number of binoculars will be available to borrow if needed. Open to ages 8 and up. FREE!           

Co-Ed Open Basketball – 20 & Up

Thursdays, October 5, 12, 19 & 26 from 8-10 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls

This basketball program is open ages 20 and over. Emphasis of this program is exercise and fun. The cost is $5 per person per session; cash or check only.

Butterfly Walk 

Friday, October 6 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Manasquan Reservoir, Howell –  Meet at the Environmental Center

With a Park System Naturalist, identify butterflies found in the fields. Walk may be a mile or more. Open to ages 7 and up, under 18 with adult. FREE!  

Cookstove Demonstration

Sunday, October 8 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Visit the out kitchen and see what’s cooking on the woodstove. FREE!          

School’s Out Drop-In Days 

Monday, October 9 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fort Monmouth Recreation Center, Tinton Falls

Stop by and enjoy Science Exploration Stations, Take Home Kids Creations, Building Time, and Open Gym Time during this self-guided program open to ages 5-10 with adult. The cost is $5 per child per day; cash or check only.

7 Prez SK8 Jam

Saturday, October 14 from 12-3:30 p.m.
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch

Held at the Skateplex, this amateur skateboarding contest also features local skateboard and food vendors.  The cost to compete is $15 per person; cash or check only. Event admission and parking are free.

Thompson Park Day

Sunday, October 15 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Thompson Park, Lincroft

From the scarecrow contest to doggie costume contest, Thompson Park Day offers everything a fall festival should – pumpkin painting, wagon rides, kids races, entertainment and so much more!  Some activities have a fee.  Admission and parking are free.

Roving Naturalist

Saturday, October 21 at 9 a.m.
Hominy Hill Golf Course, Colts Neck – Meet in the Matthews Road parking lot.  

Join our Roving Naturalist for a walk and discuss seasonal points of interest, search for signs of wildlife, and identify a bird or two. This is an 1.5-2 hour program, but feel free to join in or drop out at any point. Dress for the weather as light rain is not a deterrent. FREE!          

Accordion Melodies of the 1890s

Saturday, October 21 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

Hear music from yesteryear played on an accordion. FREE!     

Climb Time

Sunday, October 22 from 1-5 p.m.
Freneau Woods Park, Aberdeen

Try the Park System’s 25’ portable climbing wall. This is a great opportunity to experience the sport of rock climbing close to home. Climbers must be 42” or taller and age 8 or older (under 18 with adult). FREE!      


Nature Lecture Series: The Real Story of the Jersey Devil

Thursday, October 26 from 7-8 p.m.
Bayshore Waterfront Park Activity Center, Port Monmouth

Discover the many possible origins and stories of the Jersey Devil legend during this talk led by a Park System Naturalist. FREE!    

19th Century Woodworking Demonstration

Saturday, October 28 from 1-3 p.m.
Historic Longstreet Farm, Holmdel

See the farm staff use 19th century woodworking tools. FREE!    

To learn more about these Park System activities, please visit www.MonmouthCountyParks.com or call the Park System at 732-842-4000. For persons with hearing impairment, the Park System TTY/TDD number is 711. The Monmouth County Park System, created in 1960 by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, is Monmouth County’s Open Space, Parks, and Recreation agency.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...